Separating Facts From Stories

There are the facts. And then there are the stories we weave from the facts.

Fact: My ex-husband had an affair with a woman he met on a business trip. He married her three months after they met and abandoned me with a text message.

Story: There must be something wrong with me for my husband to fall so quickly for another woman. She must have something that I don’t. I’m not even worthy of a conversation, that’s how inconsequential I am. If the man that professed his love to me for sixteen years and pledged his commitment could leave me so easily, any other man would obviously do the same. If I was unworthy before, I’m broken now. There’s no way that I will ever be able to recover from this damage.

It starts with the facts – sometimes harsh, but bare. Often devoid of any motivations or intentions. And then our brains industriously fill in the details, weaving stories that surround and connect the facts.

The problem is that once we tell ourselves these stories, we become unable to separate them from the facts. And so we begin to believe the words we tell ourselves. The words that are often anchored in insecurities, fears and trauma.

Sometimes, we even take it a step further and assimilate these stories as a core truth of about ourselves. We confuse what happened to us with who we are, applying labels with superglue and operating under those assumptions.

What stories are you telling yourself?

Take a few moments and consciously examine the stories you tell yourself. What are the facts and what are your interpretations and speculations about the facts? What if some of your conclusions are incorrect? Could there be another way to view these same facts?

The facts are irrefutable. The stories are what we create.

When we become too wed to a story, we become stuck within a singular narrative. Change your story and your life will follow.


Edit Your Personal Narrative

Your Story Matters

Thank you for sharing!

9 thoughts on “Separating Facts From Stories

  1. RosieJoseph – France – Welcome to both my blogs. Due to my memoir I have had to use change my name after blogging for four years and use my new pseudonym: Rosie Joseph. I thought I would use my parents second names because I know they would be proud of me telling our story. Despite my blog Making this better being about infidelity I am still happily married to my darling husband. The affair happening in our lives encouraged to visit France and we moved to France in 2015 after an eight year love affair with it every summer. But life in France was tough, and we learned not to be afraid to make change, so we moved to Ireland at the end of 2020. I published ‘Making This Better’ the memoir where I share the whole 21 days that RD was not with me and how that affected me, and my journal entries for the first five years after 'The war' happened in our lives. I hoped that sharing our story will help others but I know now it really did from the feedback I have received from all over the world. Six years ago I wrote how I ‘loved my life in France, but I am loving the idea of an adventure more. I have the wanderlust bug who knows where life will take me next!’ Well now I know it took me to Ireland! Always remember what is important in life. The only moment is now. If you like to laugh, cry and reflect, then join me on my adventure. Rosie
    moisyswindell says:

    That is exactly it, you need to tell yourself to just look at the facts; but also importantly stop trying to find them all (the truth) because you will never know what’s really true. Loved this post. Moisy

  2. What if the stories are true? My ex left after 40 years for a younger woman because I didn’t show him enough affection. I was too busy with work and kids, and I have never been one for overt gestures of affection even though I loved him. She doesn’t have any distractions , so can devote herself to him, and they have the same interests. The facts and the stories match in my case. I am trying self forgiveness, but suffer remorse and regret every day. It makes it hard to let go and move on. I forgive them, they found their soul mates, and I want him to be happy. I am trying to change my story that I am better off alone, than with someone who didn’t want to be with me any more.

      1. Some of them, but I have looked inward and know that I was probably emotionally unavailable, as was my family when I was a child. He had issues too , but needed to feel more appreciated.
        I don’t blame him, and I have now learned (too late) to show my feelings. At least my adult children will benefit from my harsh lesson, they have a more open hearted Mother. Sometimes events occur to help us learn and grow.

  3. Lolly – Iowa – I'm a bookworm, music lover, semi-part-time blogger. Wow, I'm easy to describe. My heart's like an open book, I'm not too shy to talk about anything and sometimes my opinions are harsh. I'm pretty "tell it like it is" but try not to hurt people's feelers. I may rant, boast, post funnies, who knows what will come out here but there ya go. Me in a nutshell.
    Lolly says:

    Thank you for this! The end of the month will mark one year since I made J move out. His issue was and still is an online sex addiction. Not porn…..but meeting strangers strictly for sex. Male, female, it didn’t matter. I’ve been through so many emotions in the past year, but I know in my heart it has absolutely nothing to do with anything I did or didn’t do. Still I couldn’t help but feel if I was enough, none of it would have happened.
    Now, I know, it will take a magical unicorn of a woman for him to change. Yeah, that won’t ever happen. I’m sad for him, I’m worried for him. But I’m moving into my own apartment at the beginning of the month and I will continue to grow and learn to love myself. I only hope someday that he can do the same for himself.

  4. Tripp – Augusta, GA – My name is Tripp. I am the father of two amazing children, who live with their amazing mother and her esteemed husband about nine hours north of me. I am a musician, and have self-released three albums over the last seventeen years. I am a registered nurse who specializes in trauma and intravenous access. My co-workers are a diverse and wonderful group. My job affords me the distinct and welcomed privilege of accompanying my fellow human beings through some of the most trying times of their lives. I have personally experienced a miraculous shift from a loathing and questioning of life to a passionate love and adoration of it, and I am committed to causing that shift within the lives of those around me. Cheers.
    Tripp says:

    You speak truth, and you speak it from the heart. It’s very apparent you’ve transformed, and I love that you want to share that with others. 🙂

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